Shingles are basically skin rashes which are caused due to viral infection in the veins below our skin. Shingles could occur on different parts of our body, but majorly it is the chest and neck which is affected. Shingles include blisters and irritated skin which can be very painful in severe cases. Kids generally experience mild cases of Shingles whereas the adults above 50 are usually prone to severe cases.
This infection is caused by the same virus which is responsible for chickenpox. Babies can be affected by this virus as well, and one needs to have enough knowledge when it comes to babies as they have a more sensitive skin which causes them the most discomfort.
Cause of shingles in babies:
This infection, also known as herpes zoster, is majorly caused by the virus known as Varicella-Zoster, which also causes chickenpox. Once the baby gets chickenpox, her immune system creates antibodies against the virus which helps to prevent shingles in the future. If the baby has got chicken pox already once in her life, the virus remains inactive in the body. When it gets activated again, the baby develops shingles. Not everyone who had chickenpox before will develop shingles, but only those with lowered or weakened immunity.
Not contagious to babies:
Unlike chickenpox, shingles have shown that they are not contagious to babies. A baby can have shingles only if it has been affected by the virus before, like chicken pox. Weak immunity gets the zoster virus reactivated which leads to shingles but is not contagious.
Baby shingles: symptoms:
The basic symptoms of this infection which you need to watch out are:
• Itchiness and excruciating pain: In the primary days of shingles, the baby skin develops itchy and painful rashes. These itching areas and irritation make the baby annoyed and fussy, and she might also try to rub the area of the infection, but it needs to be prevented.
• Rashes: The itchiness leads to strips of pimple-like rashes all over the baby’s skin. As this infection usually occurs on the chest and back, the baby will develop rashes on his back and chest area.
• Fever: Sometimes this infection leads to fever in babies.
• Blisters: The rashes tend to convert into blisters, and they may last for a longer period as compared to the rashes or the itchiness.
• Tiredness: The baby easily becomes lethargic and shows a lack of energy. This infection leads to excessive sleep among the babies.
• Loss of appetite: The fever and itchiness often lead to loss of appetite among the babies which make them drowsy, weak and nauseous.
Treatment for babies:
• Ointments: The basic treatment for baby shingles is tropic ointment which helps to lower the pain and irritation.
• Fever medication: As the baby gets the fever which affects her health. Fever medications can be taken according to the doctor’s recommendation.
• Antiviral aids: Such aids are required to lessen the intensity of the virus and the infection. It makes the immune system quite active so that it can fight properly against the infectious virus.
All these medications should be mild, as any sort of high doses might affect the health and immunity of the babies. In order to prevent the hint of the virus to spread, there is a particular set of precaution one needs to take. Let us discuss the same in detail.
Prevention from spreading:
Though this infection is not contagious to other babies, it might sometime prove a bit effective; not the exact shingle but a few symptoms or bad health. To prevent spreading of the virus you can take the following measures:
• Separate washing of the clothes used by the baby who is affected.
• Use of gloves while applying for ointment or medicine.
• Proper washing of hands before and after checking the blister.
• Less contact of the baby with other babies or siblings.
• Try to keep the rash covered; it prevents the spreading of the virus.
There is nothing to worry about when it comes to baby shingles; it is perfectly normal and not contagious. In fact, these infections and viruses can eventually help in making your baby’s immune system stronger.